Case Studies

CASE STUDY

We acted for a Gunner in the Kings Troops in an MOD ‘punishment bareback horse ride’

Case study (Doheny v Ministry of Defence)

CASE STUDY

We acted for a Private in the Territorial Army who was injured in a Land Rover accident whilst on tour in Iraq and Kuwait. Our client was providing top cover with his machine gun when the driver of the Land Rover in which he was travelling lost control of the vehicle which left the road at a speed in excess of 60mph and cartwheeled into the desert.

Our client was thrown clear but suffered very serious spinal injuries as a result. He was flown to Germany where he underwent emergency spinal surgery. He is left with permanent injuries including severe pain, difficulty with walking, difficulty with controlling his bladder and bowel and a significant loss of function of the right arm. Our client requires ongoing care and support and will require medical therapies for life. He was medically discharged from the Armed Forces and will be unable to return to his civilian employment. A claim was brought against the Ministry of Defence in the High Court and an award of £1.15m was made.

 

CASE STUDY

We represented a Tank Transporter Driver in the Royal Logistical Corps who was based in Germany. He was injured when he fell from the tank deck of his transporter due to the lack of provision of a ladder which should have been provided to allow ease of access.

Our client suffered complex fractures of the left wrist requiring pins and plates. Unfortunately despite two further operations our client was unable to recover use of the left hand. He is no longer able to drive heavy vehicles in the Armed Forces or fire his weapon. He was medically discharged. A claim was brought against the Ministry of Defence on his behalf and in addition to Armed Forces Compensation Scheme payments and Guaranteed Income payments a further award was negotiated on his behalf of £159,000.00.

 

CASE STUDY

In December 2007, a 34 year old Parachute Instructor and Sergeant in the Brigade Parachute Squadron of the RAF sustained a serious spinal injury as a result of a parachuting accident.

On the day of the accident, the Claimant was participating in an Air Concentration Exercise (ACE), a joint service course, conducted at El Central, California. The Claimant was carrying out a tandem jump, acting as Tandem Master with a fellow Sergeant as his passenger. Neither were experienced in night time jumping, nor had they previous experience with the parachute system being used.

When the Claimant thought, based on the incorrect altimeter reading, he was at a height of approximately 300-500 feet, the Claimant commenced a left turn to bring his passenger and himself into the wind for the landing. During the course of that turn, the Claimant and his passenger hit the ground, causing the Claimant to suffer serious injuries and his passenger to suffer, tragically, fatal injuries.

As a result of the accident, the Claimant was rendered tetraplegic for four days and underwent decompression and fusion of C5/6. The Claimant also suffered injury to his left shoulder, knee and right calf. The Claimant had residual problems following his spinal injury including pain in his hands and wrist and the chance of developing asymptomatic syrinx which would have led to increased pain, neurological deficit in the limbs, numbness and loss of temperature sensation.

We represented the Claimant in his claim for damages for personal injury and consequential loss against the Ministry of Defence.

The claim progressed towards trial and ultimately concluded following an offer made after a Joint Settlement Meeting in December 2009. The Claimant successfully obtained a 6-figure award for his personal injuries and losses.

 

INQUEST CASE STUDY

Hilary Meredith Solicitors acted for Mr and Mrs Bonsall, in relation to the Coroner’s inquest touching on the death of their son, Lee Bonsall, a 24 year old Army veteran, who tragically took his own life on 3 March 2012. Lee had enlisted into the Army aged 17 in 2005 was considered a good soldier with a promising career ahead of him. Lee was deployed to Afghanistan in 2006 and upon his return he appeared to be a changed person. Lee wanted to leave the Army and was referred to an Army psychiatrist. It took seven months for Lee to be seen by a psychiatrist post-referral and despite the psychiatrist advising that Lee be allowed to leave with immediate effect, he was prohibited from leaving until September 2007, following an episode of self-harm.

The Army denied that Lee had suffered any psychological injury bas a result of his tour of Afghanistan and, furthermore, made him a sign a statement upon his release from the services, which described Lee as being dishonest and untrustworthy. Lee was offered no assistance from the Army with regards to his mental state and suffered the effects of his psychological injury until his death nearly five years later.

The coroner delivered a narrative verdict in which he found not only that there was a “clear link between Pte Bonsall’s military service and his subsequent mental health problems and that his Tour of Duty of Afghanistan led to his subsequent mental health difficulties” but also that “The assessment of Pte Bonsall on 11th July 2007 in form B 130 A which describes him as an administrative burden, dishonest, untrustworthy, unreliable and very unpredictable is inaccurate and misleading.  This form may well have been completed to facilitate Pte Bonsall’s release from military service but it does not serve as an accurate record of Pte Bonsall’s military conduct and does not reflect the fact that he was a soldier who received a medal for his services in Afghanistan where events led to the development of a depressive illness which persisted until his death.”